It’s an iWorld these days, and iTechnology is making its way into the classroom more and more. Several colleges have given either an iPhone or an iPad to incoming students, as well as some K-12 schools. One middle school has even given an iPhone touch to every student for use in the classroom and for homework.
Apple has responded by creating a number of apps that can be used in the classroom or for educational purposes. We’ve listed some of the best apps for the iPhone or iPad for all ages of learners:
PopMath Basic Math
This app is designed as a game that teaches basic math, including adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. One review reads:
“I got this for my 3rd grader who HATES math and hasn’t been very successful with multiplication. If school could be half as fun as this app, she would be a math ace. She loves this app, and so do I – and I’m 37! It’s a little addicting. We use this for her multiplication practice. I never have to beg her to practice anymore.”
Highlights Hidden Pictures
Children can color pictures and find hidden items. There are eight pictures with the original download, which costs $1.99. Additional puzzle packs are available for 99 cents, and a free puzzle is available each month. The app won the 2010 Parents’ Choice Silver Award.
This 99 cent app for the iPhone and iPad is designed to help young students learn to spell and improve vocabulary. The app shows a picture with a word with one letter missing. Children then enter the missing letter to spell the word correctly.
Learn Sight Words
This app includes over 300 sight words flashcards to help students learn to read. It even sounds out the words. One review reads:
“This is an awesome game and learning tool! As a mom and literacy tutor, I love it, and my five-year-old son loves it too and learns so much. The sound quaility is so much better in this app than other sight (high-frequency) word apps I’ve tried. Very nice work! I look forward to updates with more high-frequency words added…. like Fry’s 1000 along with Dolch’s.”
Manual for the United States of America
This $1.99 app for older children doesn’t focus around a game, but rather provides numerous important documents for navigating and understanding American history. Included are copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Federalist Papers, and more.
This free app offers a wealth of information about space travel, including images and videos. A great app for all learners, even those who are no longer students!
Musee de Louvre
The famed Parisian museum offers a virtual tour of its galleries, including famed works by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. You can also get an up-close view of the crown jewels. No need to fly to the other side of the world to get a look at these cultural treasures!
No need to buy a separate e-reader; just download this app and read thousands of texts right on your iPhone or iPad. There are over 540,000 books available for download, including new releases and bestsellers. The app is free, but the downloads are not.
From the description of the app: “FORA.tv helps intelligent, engaged audiences get smart. Our users find, enjoy, and share videos about the people, issues, and ideas changing the world.” This free app allows users to download smart videos of leading scholars talking about the issues.
A great app for helping students with vocabulary, or simply just a great resource for anyone. The free app works just like a pocket dictionary. Simple and easy.
This free app lets users pose big questions to get the guidance of professional philosophers. Potential questions are organized into categories such as abortion, animals, biology, children and more.
Users of this free app have access to educational and video collections, including audio books, podcasts, open courses, and more.
POETRY from the Poetry Foundation
Hundreds of poems from classic and contemporary poets are available through this free app. One review reads:
“Though, sometimes limited new poems, it’s a really great app to find and read poems that fit your fancy at the time. It’s easy and fun to use. I use it before bed and it’s a great way to end a day. Don’t waste your time with other poetry apps. This is where it’s at.”
Readdle and PlayShakespeare.com teamed up to create this free app, which makes the complete works of William Shakespeare on your iPhone. You can even search within texts by keyword to find the source of quotes, to track down plot points, and more. And don’t worry about trying to read a play in one sitting: The app automatically remembers your last page.
Over four million books are available to read on this free app. Downloads are for purchase, and there are over 50,000 contemporary titles. There are also 50,000 classic available for free download. Stanza was named one of the “Top 11 iPhone Applications” by Time Magazine, as well as one of the “10 Most Awesome iPhone Apps of 2008″ by Wired Magazine.
The Ilyiad and the Odyssey
Exactly what the name says: This app provides full text of the complete Ilyiad and Odyssey, the classic texts by Homer. The app presents a new way to read electronic text, eliminating font and scrolling issues by displaying the text in the manner of a teleprompter so that a constant flow of text is moving across the screen at a font that is easy to read. Just control the flow by tilting the device.
This free app provides a personal language lab. There are lessons on words and phrases, with audio recordings of native speakers. There are also quizzes and a tracking system that helps users focus on areas that need the most improvement.
This app uses GPS technology to allow users to explore the streets of London — both old and new. The guide uses hundreds of images from the Museum of London’s gallery to show both “everyday and momentous occasions.”
History: Maps of the World
High-resolution historical maps help students conceptualize history from around the world. Features also include a category/era view, a keyword search, zoom, and screen rotation. There are separate apps that focus on maps according to a specific continent or region.
This math puzzle game costs 99 cents, and is one of the most popular. Addition, multiplication, and fractions are just a few of the skills that children can learn through this game. One review reads:
“This game is extremely fun and addicting! The graphics are adorable and so too are the sound effects and music. As someone who’s been out of 4th grade for awhile, I was initially stumped by the terms “factor” or “multiple”, but it all quickly came back to me. I expect that this game will provide me an enjoyable way to improve my basic math skills.”